Buying a home in Athens:
After you’ve discussed loan pre-approval with a lender and found a home to purchase, the next step it to make an offer. The main contract is a 7 page agreement called the Purchase and Sale Agreement. With recent revisions, the first page is a summary of the terms, with each section defined on pages 2-7.
1. The address and legal description of subject property. This section has 3 options for providing the legal description – attached as an exhibit, described by Deed Book and Page Number, or Land Lot, Subdivision, Plat Book and Page. Only 1 option is needed.
2. Survey is or is not attached. Having a survey is not required for purchasing a home. This section states whether or not one has been provided by the seller.
3. Purchase Price of Property to be Paid by Buyer
4. Seller’s Contribution at Closing: Many times a buyer will request the seller to pay some or all of the closing costs charged by their lender to obtain financing. If an offer is for $100,000 with seller paying $3,000 in closing costs, the true offer is $97,000. The benefit of having the seller pay closing costs is so the buyer can lower the amount of money needed to close. This is basically allowing the buyer to finance in the closing costs.
5. Closing and Possession: In our area, it’s typical for the buyer to take possession of the home at closing. In some situations, we see buyers asking to retain possession after closing. If that is agreed, there is another agreement to sign.
6. Holder of Earnest Money: This is usually the Broker for the buyer.
7. Closing Law Firm: This is the buyers option. If you are not sure, the agent can make recommendations for real estate attorneys in the area.
8. Earnest Money to be paid: There are 3 options — with the offer, within a specified number of days from Binding Agreement date, or there is a blank line to disclose another option.
9. Inspection period: This is typically 10 days in our area. It can be more or less, depending on the buyers needs.
10. Lead Based Paint disclosure: Disclosing whether the property was build prior to 1978.
11. Brokerage relationships: This discloses if the selling and listing brokers represent the buyer or seller as a client, customer, dual agent or designated agent. Any material relationship is also disclosed in this section.
12. Time limit of Offer: Time and date.
The buyer initials this page agreeing that the terms submitted are correct. The buyer and buyers agent sign the contract on page 7. This is the main part of the offer but other documents are usually included to provide other information: Sellers Disclosure Statement, Lead Based Paint Exhibit, Community Disclosure (for Homeowner Association fees, etc), and financing contingency forms.
The contract is then submitted to the seller’s agent to be presented to the seller.